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Insurance for Dogs Who Bite

Dog breeds"How much is that doggie in the window? $30 K, if it bites." Well that is an eye opener. But in fact dog bites can cost owners a lot of money. If your dog is frightened or feels threatened, even the mildest of breeds can become aggressive. So there is some good news to share --

State Farm insurance company is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the U.S. Postal Service to reduce dog bites. The average cost of a dog bite insurance claim is $30,000, which includes medical and legal expenses.

All insurers across the country paid nearly $489 million in dog bite claims in 2012, according to the Insurance Information Institute. State Farm does not refuse to sell you an insurance policy because you own a certain breed of dog. And if your dog bites someone, State Farm will not automatically raise your rates or cancel your policy.

An important factor is determining whether the dog bite was provoked or unprovoked. If your dog has a history of multiple bites, you might have a problem. More than half of all dog bite victims are children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The partners in this campaign hope to educate the public. Many sites have tips, including www.americanhumane.org and www.avma.org/public/pages/Dog-Bite-Prevention.aspx

Here are some AVMA tips:

• NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet.

• Don't run past a dog. By nature they love to chase.

• Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or taking care of puppies.

• If a dog approaches you, stay still. In most cases the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat. Don't scream or yell. Avoid eye contact.

• Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.

• Get regular veterinary care and checkups. A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/pets/pet-tales-the-high-price-of-dog-bites-689914/#ixzz2VBUFqFnl

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